Yorkshire teacher who sexually abused boy is banned from profession

A science teacher from Yorkshire who was caught with thousands of indecent images of children and found to have sexually abused a boy has been banned from the profession.

Richard Ashley was given a suspended prison sentence of 24 months at Sheffield Crown Court in August 2020, after he was convicted of eight sexual offences.

The 59-year-old from Sheffield, worked at North Kesteven Academy in Lincolnshire for three years but was dismissed shortly after he was arrested in September 2016.

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Police arrested him at his partner’s house after monitoring his online activity and seized his computer.

Richard Ashley worked at North Kesteven Academy in Lincolnshire for three years but was dismissed shortly after he was arrested in September 2016.

A Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) misconduct panel said he had committed the offences “outside of the school setting” but his behaviour “could have had an impact on the safety or security of pupils”.

In a report, the agency said: “The panel considered Mr Ashley’s conduct to be very serious, noting that a large number of indecent images (7,767 in total) had been found on devices belonging to Mr Ashley.

“In addition to admitting to downloading and viewing indecent images of children, Mr Ashley also admitted to creating indecent images of children and/or filming children whilst camping on a nudist site in France.

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“Furthermore, Mr Ashley was convicted of sexual activity with a child, namely touching and taking inappropriate pictures of that child whilst he was asleep and/or incapacitated.

“The panel therefore considered that public confidence in the profession could be seriously weakened if conduct such as that found against Mr Ashley were not treated with the utmost seriousness when regulating the conduct of the profession.”

The TRA decided to ban him from the profession indefinitely.